Breaking down the European Solheim Cup team


Captain Liselotte Neumann will lead the European team against the United States in the 13th edition of the Solheim Cup at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo. Below is a breakdown of the 12 European team members in alphabetical order. Click here for a European team photo gallery and click here for the U.S. team capsules.

Carlota Ciganda Carlota Ciganda

Country: Spain

Age: 23

Record: Rookie

World ranking: No. 30

Victories: 3 LET titles

The lowdown: Ciganda took Europe by storm a year ago, winning Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors and the Order of Merit. She gained her LPGA card late last year and is an LPGA rookie this season with two top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish at the North Texas Shootout. She won the LET’s Ladies German Open earlier this year. A former British Amateur champ, Ciganda has plenty of experience on American soil. She’s a former Arizona State standout.

Caroline Hedwall Caroline Hedwall

Country: Sweden

Age: 24

Record: 2-1-1 (Singles: 1-0)

World ranking: No. 29

Victories: 5 LET titles

The lowdown: After winning four times as an LET rookie in 2011, Hedwall was the tour’s Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year. She played a large role in Europe’s upset of the Americans in the Solheim Cup in 2011, accounting for 2½ points, including a pivotal halve turning around her singles match late with Ryann O’Toole. Hedwall has three top-10 LPGA finishes this year. She’s one of Europe’s four captain’s picks.

Charley Hull Charley Hull

Country: England

Age: 17

Record: Rookie

World ranking: No. 147

Victories: None

The lowdown: Hull turned pro at 16 and made it through LET qualifying school last year. She made a strong first impression finishing second in her LET debut as a pro at the Llalla Meryem Cup. She went on to finish second in her first five LET starts. She helped Great Britain & Ireland win the Curtis Cup last year. She’s one of Europe’s four captain’s picks.

Karine Icher Karen Icher

Country: France

Age: 34

Record: 1-2 (Singles: 0-1)

World ranking: No. 24

Victories: 6 LET titles

The lowdown: Icher played in the ’02 Solheim Cup, her only appearance in the biennial competition. Icher has played as an LPGA member the last nine years. Though she has never won an LPGA title, she is getting closer, having recorded nine top-10 finishes over the last two seasons.

Caroline Masson Caroline Masson

Country: Germany

Age: 24

Record: Rookie

World ranking: No. 58

Victories: 1 LET title

The lowdown: Masson moved on to the international golf radar in 2011, holding the 36- and 54-hole leads at the Ricoh Women’s British Open before fading in the final round of Yani Tseng’s victory at Carnoustie. Masson won her first LET title last year and joined the LPGA this year, where she has had a tough transition, missing the cut in eight of her 13 starts but recording a T-13 finish at the Kraft Nabisco and T-12 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

Catriona Matthew Catriona Mathew

Country: Scotland

Age: 43

Record: 11-8-6 (Singles: 5-1)

World ranking: No. 8

Victories: 4 LPGA, 5 LET titles (1 major)

The lowdown: Europe’s upset of the Americans in Ireland in ’11 was keyed by Matthew’s 6-and-5 rout of Paula Creamer in the opening Sunday singles match. Matthew is 5-1 in Solheim Cup singles. She’s a formidable veteran of six Solheim Cups and winner of the ’09 Women’s British Open. She was second at the LPGA Championship this year with a T-7 finish at the Kraft Nabisco and T-11 finish at the Women’s British Open.

Azahara Munoz Azahara Munoz

Country: Spain

Age: 25

Record: 2-1-1 (Singles: 1-0)

World ranking: No. 27

Victories: 1 LPGA, 1 LET titles

The lowdown: Munoz proved her match-play mettle winning a vital Sunday singles point from Angela Stanford late in Europe’s upset of the Americans at the ’11 Solheim Cup. She won the LPGA’s Sybase Women’s Match Play Championship last year. Munoz, though, has struggled to find her best form this year, missing the cut in her last two starts and in three of the year’s four majors.

Anna Nordqvist Anna Nordqvist

Country: Sweden

Age: 26

Record: 4-4 (Singles: 0-2)

World ranking: No. 22

Victories: 2 LPGA titles (1 major)

The lowdown: Joins Catriona Matthew and Suzann Pettersen as the only major championship winners on the Euro roster. Nordqvist should be a good foursomes and four-ball partner. She is not a long hitter, but she hits a lot of fairways and greens. She also makes a lot of birdies, ranking fourth in the LPGA stats this year. Nordqvist has been solid in the majors this year, finishing T-12 or better in all of them.

Suzann Pettersen Suzann Pettersen

Country: Norway

Age: 32

Record: 12-8-5 (Singles: 1-3-2)

World ranking: No. 3

Victories: 11 LPGA, 6 LET titles (1 major)

The lowdown: Pettersen defeated Michelle Wie in a vital singles match late in the competition to help the Euros beat the Americans in Ireland in ’11. Pettersen is a formidable ball striker who ranks as one of the straightest big hitters in the game. She and Catriona Matthew are the team leaders for Europe. They’ve won more LPGA/LET titles and more Solheim Cup points than anyone else on the Euro side.

Beatriz Recari Beatriz Recari

Country: Spain

Age: 26

Record: Rookie

World ranking: No. 20

Victories: 3 LPGA, 1 LET titles

The lowdown: A two-time LPGA winner this year, Recari brings a lot of confidence and momentum into her first Solheim Cup. She held off Paula Creamer down the stretch to win the Marathon Classic three weeks ago. Recari will hit a lot of fairways and greens. She isn’t long, but she isn’t a short hitter. She seems to do everything well with a quality all-around game.

Giulia Sergas Giulia Sergas

Country: Italy

Age: 33

Record: Rookie

World ranking: No. 62

Victories: None

The lowdown: One of four captain’s picks, Sergas is making her Solheim Cup debut 13 years after being named the LET Rookie of the Year. An LPGA regular the last 12 seasons, Sergas has yet to win on either the LPGA or LET tours. She has three top-10 finishes in majors in the last two seasons, including a T-4 at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open and a T-7 at the Kraft Nabisco this year.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff Jodi Ewart Shadoff

Country: England

Age: 25

Record: Rookie

World ranking: No. 45

Victories: None

The lowdown: Shadoff took a step up this year, her second full season playing the LPGA tour. She burst onto the major championship stage tying for seventh at the Kraft Nabisco. She has hit a lot of leaderboards this season, though she’s still looking for her first title. In July, she tied for fourth at the U.S. Women’s Open and tied for third at the Marathon Classic. For as long as she is off the tee, she hits a lot of fairways. She also hits a lot of greens, ranking fourth on tour.